While channel hopping and listening to the commentators, I started to get a picture of the devastation, Houston, in particular, is in right now.
Most horrifying are the experts of geographical, architecture, and climate change that are saying this was a ticking-time bomb. It was predicted.
Houston is built on basic swamp land. It has been in a high growth development phase since the 1980’s. It would seem to assist in this endeavor, the city has no zoning laws. Meaning that — at risk to the environment and safety of their people — builders had free reign.
While this new construction was going on, something was not. The city’s infrastructure of drainage systems was outdated and not kept current. Some new construction is being found to have actually blocked drainage systems.
Add to this, many of Houston drainage routes are along roads. And because their soil is clay, it does not absorb water well
Developers building before Obama era of new flood regulations were allowed to build with materials that didn’t have flood protection standards.
Obama’s administration put into place in 2015, flood-risk analysis connected to federal dollars spent. The intent being to build smarter, to save dollars later when natural disaster happens.
Ironically, ten days ago, before Hurricane Harvey’s full assault hit, the residing president of the United States removed the layers of regulations ensuring federal flood standards to protect citizens and the environment.
Houston will now rebuild, Bloomberg Markets puts that cost in the $30 billion dollar range yesterday, with no zoning or infrastructure codes and no material flood standards in place so history can repeat itself.
After seeing some of the pictures, people stating they have lost everything. Watching cars float down streets. And seniors in their nursing home up to their waist in swamp water, I began wondering about flood insurance. What kind of protection do these people have?
Even though federal law requires certain homeowners to carry flood insurance, only a quarter of the homes or 240,000 in Harris County where Houston is located, had flood insurance according to CNBC.
The senators from Texas who declined to vote for financial aid support to the states on the east coast when Hurricane Sandy tragically hit in 2012 are touting a different message now that the hurricane is in their backyard.
What will not help hurricane survivors is the anticipated 2018 Federal Budget that cuts hundreds of millions that supports programs associated with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for natural disasters such as this.
Also, noticeable quiet is the connection between the hottest summer in current history, the rising of the sea level, and the current administration denial of climate change.
I would say Mother Nature might be getting everyone’s attention now. Ark, anyone?
Today I am thankful
- I get time with my sweet and spicy granddaughter today.
- I saw Moana for the first time. Great movie.
- I had the strangest dream last night. I always treasure when those who have gone before me visit me. I am sending up blessings.
Whatever small token or gesture you can send or do to assist the victims of Hurricane Harvey will be greatly appreciated. I donated directly through the Red Cross.
affectionately yours, Laura